Stringent German Laws Might Shut Down German Gmail!

Jun 25, 2007 | 2,813 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Heise online reports that Google threatens to shutdown German Gmail should the Federal Government's legislative initiative continue with its high standings on monitoring of telecommunications and Internet traffic.

This high standing law has been enforced to all in the name of fighting “terrorists”. Peter Fleischer, Google's Global privacy counsel has been quoted by the magazine saying, "Many users around the globe make use of this anonymity to defend themselves from spam, or government repression of free speech … If the web community won’t trust us with handling their data with great care, we’ll go down in no time." Fleischer goes on to say that position stops Google from maintaining anonymous email IDs.

Philip Lenssen adds, Google standing up for the rights of their users to save less data than the local government asks is a brave move. And while there are other email providers in Germany, Google is the de-facto default search engine here, and that might give them some leverage – if only to escalate the situation and put the spotlight on this new law. On the other hand, as Jens Minor from the German Google Watch Blog remarks, “If Google will indeed stop their email service in the sense that no one will be able to access their mails anymore, they might as well close all local subsidiaries, and Mountain View can go ahead and forget this market – because they’d destroy all user trust from one day to another.”

Gmail users in European countries like Switzerland and Austria, who have geographical proximity and also similar laws are wondering on whether they will be hit next.

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Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Stringent German Laws Might Shut Down German Gmail!
4.thumbnail Stringent German Laws Might Shut Down German Gmail!